Greenwich Academy, Sacred Heart renew lacrosse rivalry

Sasha Fritts scored three goals in Greenwich Academy's win vs. Sacred Heart on Saturday. Bob Luckey photo.

Sasha Fritts scored three goals in Greenwich Academy’s win vs. Sacred Heart on Saturday. Bob Luckey photo.

Convent of the Sacred Heart won the opening draw of Saturday’s showdown against arch rival Greenwich Academy and had several time-consuming possessions early in the first half. But it was apparent the Tigers were in trouble the longer they went without scoring and failed to capitalize on their opportunities

Taking advantage of your chances is a must against a powerhouse squad such as Greenwich Academy, which rolled to a resounding 18-6 triumph over visiting Sacred Heart. With polished, experienced players such as junior attack Angie Loynaz, senior attack Annie DeFrino and senior attack Sasha Fritts, the Gators have flourished offensively so far this season, easily reaching double figures in scoring in every one of its nine games.

Loynaz tallied five goals and three assists, DeFrino had four goals and two assists and Fritts recorded a hat trick for GA, which raised its record to a perfect 9-0 on Saturday. DeFrino and Loynaz found each other for goals several times, while Fritts consistently dodged her way past defenders en route to scoring.

“Angie and Annie see each other really well on the field, along with Sasha,” GA coach Melissa Anderson said. “I liked the passing I saw today. Assists came from all over the place.”

Midfielder Whitney Balanoff scored twice, with Charlotte Dahl, Sarah Frauen, Dani Freedman and Izzy Nixon each adding single goals for GA, which led 9-1 at the half. To the Tigers’ credit, they didn’t pack it in despite falling behind by a considerable margin. Their best moments offensively came when they scored three unanswered second-half goals. Haley Horn and Emma Novick each scored twice for the Tigers, who are 5-4-1 on the season.

“Our play in the second half goes to show that we still had that fire in us,” CSH coach Courtney DePeter said. “We still wanted to play the full 50 minutes. This game will motivate us for our games next week.”

Said Sacred Heart senior midfielder Colleen O’Neill: “We had possession a lot in the first half and we did pretty well on the draw, but we had some turnovers that killed us. Today, we showed some things that we did well and some things we could do better.”

Goalie Julie Mayberry was one of the reason the Tigers only scored one first-half goal. The Gators goalie made six saves. GA defenders Maggie Schmidt, Caroline Neumann and Katrina Kraus got their sticks on several shots and passes and came up with key ground balls throughout.

No matter what the score is, it’s always enjoyable watching these two rivals compete against each other because they put so much emotion and effort into the game. Anderson knew her squad had to come out in top form against the Tigers.

“I never wonder if Sacred Heart is going to come out strong,” Anderson said. “They always play with a lot of focus and desire, which could win games. I told our team, effort can beat experience, so we couldn’t be complacent.”

Here’s my game story on GA’s win vs. CSH:

Dave Fierro